Braised Eryngii Mushrooms
After discovering these somewhat sexy-looking mushrooms a few years ago, they’ve become my absolute favorite variety. What really stands out is not the flavor, which is rather plain, but the texture; meaty and juicy, with just the right amount of resistance to the bite, I would never miss red meat in my life if I could eat my fill of these. The best way to enjoy them is with this simple recipe, which highlights their wonderful texture. It makes a nice appetizer or side dish.
Cut the mushrooms in half lengthwise. Heat a large skillet to a rather high heat. Add the butter and place the mushrooms, cut side down, in the pan, for 5 minutes. This will sear the bottom of the mushrooms to a nice golden brown, partially caramelizing them. Sprinkle with salt and crushed black pepper to taste, and splash with the sake before immediately covering the pan for a few minutes longer. This will steam and finish the tops of the mushrooms. For very large mushrooms, you can also sauté both sides before steaming.
Serve a few pieces on single serving dishes, or stacked in a bowl to serve family style.